14th Annual Burn Awareness Week set for February 7 to 13

Scalds, not fire, are the most common cause of burns to children

Majority of parents don't know about this burn hazard

Over $6,000 in prize money to elementary schools participating in Burn Awareness Week Poster Contest

VANCOUVER, Jan. 25 /CNW/ - The BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund's 14th Annual Burn Awareness Week (BAW) program runs February 7 to 13, 2010.

Available online at www.burnfund.org, BAW teaches kids to be responsible for their own safety, and helps make their families aware of potentially harmful situations.

To encourage student participation, the Burn Fund runs the annual Burn Awareness Week Poster Contest. Every entrant receives a participation prize and fifty students will win money for their elementary school or BC Ministry of Education sanctioned distance education facility. There are seven regional prizes, including a $1,000 grand prize and six $500 regional prizes. Regions are the Lower Mainland (three winners), Vancouver Island, Kootenays, Northern BC and the Okanagan (one winner for each area). Forty-three students win runner-up prizes of $50 each for their school or distance education facility. Complete prize details, rules and regulations are available online(http://burnfund.org/BAW/english_poster.html).

Burn Awareness Week Program

Public and private elementary schools in British Columbia, parents, students - anyone - can access the program online, which includes burn awareness safety tip information, student activity sheets, quizzes, coloring pages, and animated videos. The program is available in PDF format for easy download and printing.

Educational, fun and interactive, the program includes age-appropriate safety lessons intended for Pre-School (two to four year olds); K/Grade 1; Grade 2/3; Grade 4/5; and Grade 6/7. Some lessons are also available in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.

The Burn Hazard

A majority of Canadian parents aren't aware of the scald and burn hazards in their homes. A survey by Safe Kids Canada found that 70 per cent of Canadian parents did not know that the most common cause of burn injuries to children is scalds from hot liquids, such as spilled hot drinks and hot tap water, rather than fire.

"Most adults realize that children need to be kept safe from fire or hot objects like the stove, but they do not realize that hot liquids are just as dangerous," says Tim Baillie, Burn Fund Director and Chair of the Burn Awareness Week Program. "Hot liquids burn just like fire."

Each year an estimated 9,000 children in Canada visit hospital emergency room for burns, and almost half of these have suffered scalds from hot liquids. Close to 1,000 Canadian children are hospitalized each year for severe scalds and burns. Approximately 50 per cent of these children are hospitalized for scalds alone. (Source: Safe Kids Canada)

In British Columbia, more than 200 children are hospitalized for scald burns and thousands more are treated in emergency departments. Data collected over a five-year period in BC showed 453 children (birth to five years) hospitalized because of burns from hot liquids. During the same time frame, Children's treated 343 young children for scald burns - 87 per cent of these injuries occurred at home, with an average of 40 per cent occurring in the kitchen and 9.3 per cent in the bathroom. (Source: BC Children's Hospital)

Scalds from hot tap water are often the most severe. Children's skin is thinner and more sensitive. A child's skin burns four times more quickly and more deeply than an adult's skin at the same temperature. Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). At this temperature, a child's skin can burn in just one second.

The Burn Fund urges parents to study this important burn and scald safety information and to spend some time with their children to review the online Burn Awareness Program. (Ed. Note: A list of scald and burn prevention safety tips is available upon request.).

The Burn Fund is a registered charity established in 1978 by the BC Professional Fire Fighters Association. It provides life saving, life supporting, and life enriching services to the people in British Columbia. More than 3,700 professional fire fighters from fifty communities in British Columbia and Yukon dedicate their time and skills to support burn survivors and increase the public's knowledge about fire and burn safety issues through the work the Burn Fund does with its Burn Awareness, Research and Prevention Programs.

The 14th Annual Burn Awareness Program is sponsored by Capilano Suspension Bridge, Province of British Columbia, TELUS, RBC Foundation, Global TV BC, Canwest Community Publishing, The Old Spaghetti Factory, and Panago Pizza.

Available for interview: Tim Baillie, BCPFF Burn Fund Director & Chair, Burn Awareness Week Program, and Burn Fund Local Representatives in fifty communities throughout British Columbia are available to discuss burn awareness tips. Many of the fire departments hold in-school fire and scald safety demonstrations during Burn Awareness Week.

Photo/Interview Opportunity in Metro Vancouver: The Burn Fund will hold a Burn Awareness training session at a Vancouver and a Chilliwack elementary school, February 3 and January 26 respectively. The students will learn to stop, drop and roll, along with other safety lessons. PLEASE RSVP before Tuesday, January 26 To Margo Bates Publicity at 604-536-9501 or e-mail asa@margobatespr.com to confirm your attendance.

SOURCE BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Asa Zanatta, (604) 408-1389, E-Mail: Asa@MargoBatesPR.com or Margo Bates, (604) 536-9501, E-Mail: Margo@MargoBatesPR.com

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